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The mom perspective

There's something about becoming a mom that changes your perspective.  No longer are you living a life just for yourself.  Your decisions now take on a deeper impact because they not only impact your future, but also the future of your children. Choosing the battles you fight become more and more important because not every battle has lasting meaning.  If I choose to let my daughter go to school with her hair unbrushed suddenly doesn't make as much sense as letting her learn independence through getting herself ready in the morning.  Eating a home cooked, well-rounded meal that may take hours to prepare isn't as important as letting my kids have a backwards dinner (i.e, starting with dessert and working backwards through our courses - although still ending with another dessert) so that my kids benefit from enjoying gathering together as a family at mealtime.

Becoming a mom changes your perspective.  I look around me and see dangers that I want my children to avoid.  Sometimes they're silly dangers like a puddle in the middle of the parking lot when my child isn't wearing rain boots.  Other times, they're larger dangers like a sketchy looking situation taking place in a nearby home or business...one that I neither want my children to see or become involved in.

As a mom, I've begun to realize the importance of taking action and teaching my children the importance of standing up to people and situations that can harm them.  Whether it's bullying in a classroom, at the bus stop, playing with neighbors or online, I want my children to know how to take action in attempting to resolve the situation with words and, when that's not possible, then talking to someone in authority.  Or, maybe it's taking action against abuse - whether domestic or societal, as with human trafficking.  I want my children to understand that it is OK - and right - to stand up for people who either cannot or will not stand up for themselves.  Through being an example to them of a loving home, I hope that their instincts are being filled with understanding that physical harm is not appropriate and should be stopped.  And, sometimes this means calling the police - over and over and over again - so that they can step into a dangerous situation.

But, as a mom, I've also changed my perspective on helping those in need.  I want my children to be compassionate human beings who, when they see someone in need, they are willing to reach out and help.  But, I also want them to understand what being in need means - and that means teaching them the difference between need and want.  Even though I often have the capability of fulfilling my children's wants, I will choose not to do this so that they can better understand that this desire is not of need.  I will allow my children to go into situations different from their own - so that they can understand not everyone lives like us.  I will teach my children about poverty, sickness, death, and more so that they can also learn about empathy, kindness, and adversity.

As a mom, my perspective has changed from simply being the person who volunteers my time to make a difference in other people's lives.  Now, my perspective is to be the difference in my children's lives so that they can make a difference in even more lives.

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